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Planning to visit China, but don’t know how to apply for a China visa? We're breaking it down for you with our step by step guide, follow the steps and get your China visa efficiently.
The first thing is to check whether you need a visa or not. You usually need to apply for a Chinese visa unless you meet one of China's visa-free policies.
72- and 144-hour visa-free transit offer great convenience if you have a layover in China.
There are many types of China visa. Choose a visa type that applies to your situation. If you are planning to go on a vacation in China, apply for a Tourist Visa (L Visa).
The following list of documents are required for any China visa application:
Along with the aforementioned generally required documents, several additional documents are required depending upon the type of China visa applied for.
For instance, if you are applying for a tourist L visa, you need to prepare an air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation OR an invitation letter.
An invitation letter can replace the air ticket and hotel booking if you are planning to stay with friends or family who live in China and can’t provide the hotel confirmation, or if your travel is being organized by a travel agency (or other duly authorized organization) in China.
You may submit the application to the Visa Office at Chinese embassies or consulates, or China Visa Application Service Centers (also called CVASC) if they are operating in your country.
Starting from 2018, visa applicants from more and more countries (including the U.S., the UK, and Canada) have to make their visa application in person and have their fingerprints collected.
The regular service processing time is 4 days, and the rushed service takes1 day. The latter is only available in extreme emergencies pending a consular officer’s approval.
For applicants holding a U.S. passport, we recommend VisaHQ, who provides a fast, efficient service at a very competitive price.
Go to the place where you apply for China visa, pay the fee and collect your visa.
The fees vary enormously depending on your nationality and number of entries. Here we listed China visa price for some countries.
|Nationality||Number of Entries||Regular Application|
|US Citizens||Single Entry
Multiple Entries for 6 Months
Multiple Entries for 1 Year & above
|UK Citizens||EUR 151|
|Canada Citizens||CAD 100|
|Australian Citizens||AUD 60-180|
The fees shown in the table are only for the cost of visa. If you apply through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center, the service fee and tax are required.
It is important to get your visa early, but not too early because it is only valid for 90/180 days for single/double-entry visas from the issue date.
It is usually recommended that you apply for the visa one or two months before the intended travel.
If you are planning on traveling to the Tibet Autonomous Region, you will need to get a special permit from a Chinese travel agency.
If you are already in Hong Kong and want to visit mainland China, it is possible to get a China visa in Hong Kong. Read our step-by-step guide.
China Highlights is your China tour tailor-making expert. See the recommended tours below for inspiration:
As an alternative to customizing the recommended tours linked above to meet your individual requirements, we can help you tailor-make a tour according to your interests and requirements.
Or check out our ideas and suggestion on How to Plan Your China Tour in 2020.